Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Weekly Staple

Homemade hummus sooo much better than store bought, and so easy.  This recipe has become one of my faves.  It is so thick and delicious, I could frost a cake with it.


by Mary McKinney
Keywords: snack hummus dip
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 can chick peas, drained
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup really good olive oil
Combine all ingredients, EXCEPT olive oil in a food processor. Turn on machine and stream in olive oil. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Serve topped with a drizzle of evoo, and a sprinkling of cayenne and kosher salt.
Trust me, you will lick the spoon on this one.
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Chicken so good, you will grill it in the rain...

As of late, my evenings have been so busy, I have had no time to cook . Many people would rather step out into oncoming traffic than think about coming home and having to cook after a long day of work . I am the OPPOSITE. It's how I wind down. After I take the dog out, check the mail and remove all bills from site, and put on my house shoes, (which, by the way, my roommate says "house shoes" is a southern term...I had no idea) then nothing melts away the day like pouring a glass of wine and turning on the stove. Needless to say, I just don't feel complete on these crazy evenings when this doesn't happen. My fix? I have begun reserving a little time on Sunday afternoons to do most of my week's cooking. My favorite thing to prepare for the week lately is a grilled, whole chicken. With spring showing it's face the past several weeks, the grill has been calling my name. That is not the case today.  It is a dreary, cold, weather that screams stay in your pajamas and don't think of going outside, kind of day. HOWEVER...I found a chicken recipe from Ina Garten, that is so delicious and fragrant, rain, sleet, snow, or hail won't keep me from making it. I guess I could roast it in the oven, but there is something about that smokey grilled char that makes chicken roasted in the oven seem like going out in that little black dress, wearing athletic shoes. Functional, but ruins the mood.

This recipe was adapted from Ina's Butterflied Chicken:

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 roasting chicken (2 1/2 to 3 pounds), butterflied, and divided into halves
(the marinating ingredients here were meant for two chickens, but it tastes so good, I squeeze it all onto one chicken.  Feel free to cut it in half, though.)


Mix the chopped rosemary, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in a small bowl to make a paste.

Place the halves on a sheet pan, skin side up, and loosen the skin from the meat with your fingers. Place 1/2 of the paste under the skin of each half. Rub any remaining paste on the outside and underside of the chickens.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Heat a grill with coals. Spread the coals out in 1 dense layer and brush the grill with oil. Place the chickens, skin side down, on the grill and cook for 15-20 minutes. Flip and cook for another 15-20 minutes or until completely cooked through.  

By this point, it smells so good, you won't even know it's raining.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

When the Moon Hits Your Eye...

What do you get when you cross a five pound bag of flour, 18 pie crusts, and 9 ecstatic 11 year olds???...Flour Power like you have never seen it! Today's cooking adventure?  I did a birthday party at Dinner Savvy and the theme was PIE. Pizza Pie. Apple Pie. Cherry Pie. Oh and a throw in a few garlic knots for fun.
First, there was dough...

The girls were dying for an appetizer, so we whipped up a batch of garlic knots.                                                   
Finally it's time to prepare the first pie... 
You can bet, that with 11 year olds, when they get free reign with a ball of pizza dough, boring, traditional circles you will not find...Mickey Mouse?  A teddy bear?

This is serious work...

And we send them to the ovens.

The girls take a break and decorate some aprons.


The finished product.  Most people would be ready for a nap after all this food.  I can safely say that was not the case today.  Nothing ends a day of cooking fun like a game of hide and seek in the kitchen.  Oh yeah, we did.